Expenses related to children remain the same regardless of whether they reside with both parents or just one. Most commonly, however, one parent moves away from the children long before the divorce process even begins, and certainly before the court finalizes child support decisions.
In some cases, both loving parents will bridge the gap by entering into informal arrangements for the continued support of their children until the courts make their decisions, but children can suffer when these agreements do not work out. This is why our Minneapolis child support lawyers applaud the legislation that provided options to speed up the formal child support process for parents that need it.
How the Courts Accelerate Child Support Decisions
The expedited child support statute was first introduced in 1999. Legislators recognized that delays in child support decisions can detrimental to children — and that creating a separate process outside of divorce would overburden busy court dockets. To resolve this issue, the statute creates the position of Child Support Magistrate. These individuals are typically experienced administrative law judges or lawyers who are assigned to the courts specifically to handle expedited child support decisions separately from divorce and other proceedings that could affect the support of children.
Child Support Magistrates are not necessarily judges, but they have full judicial power when they preside over cases that are stripped from the rest of the divorce process under the following circumstances:
- When the custodial parent qualifies for federal public assistance, or
- When the parent looks to the county child support office to enforce a previously-established child support order
These two situations represent a surprisingly large number of cases that, to the detriment of Minnesota children, often experienced extensive delays prior to the establishment of this statute. The new law has proven to be an effective way of addressing the needs of the children efficiently.
The Options for Expediting Child Support are Not General Knowledge
Whether individuals have concerns about their children’s wellbeing during the divorce process, or if they seek modification of child support to address current needs, they do not typically know that the process can be accelerated in certain situations. As long as they seek support from a family law attorney who understands how child support works, however, they can be assured that they will pursue this option when appropriate.
In many ways, the success of a relationship formed with a family lawyer depends on a high degree of trust. It is essential for individuals to share extensive personal information in order to ensure that the attorney can identify the availability of specific legal options, such as expedited child support.
For the compassionate and knowledgeable legal support needed to build a trusting legal relationship, call us at (763) 783-5146 or use our convenient contact form.